This was the point that National Pandemic Controller, David Manning, and Secretary for Health, Dr Osborne Liko, wanted to get across to citizens at yesterday’s COVID-19 media briefing.
Dr Liko said in just seven days, the number of reported cases of COVID-19 soared at almost 50 percent between Saturday March 20th and Saturday March 27th, 2021.
“Within seven days we had 2,394 reported cases. The number of deaths increased to 49 in seven days,” said the Health Secretary.
He reminded citizens that hospitals are full to capacity and a number of them have closed down because there are not enough staff to attend to patients as they have contracted the virus.
“(With) POMGen’s 18 beds, we have 16 occupied. Imagine 50 percent in seven days. Where do we go when we have symptoms moderate to severe? Of the six ICU beds, four are occupied,” he explained.
“So within seven days and from now on if you are not careful and do not follow the Niupela Pasin – if you get sick and come with symptoms that are severe, where do you go? There is no bed.
“ANGAU is (partially) closed. Fifty percent of its staff are infected. As we move on with the same cumulative incidences, where do we go in ANGAU, and rest of the hospitals affected in the country? Frontline health workers are stretched to the limit,” Dr Liko emphasised.
Dr Liko and Manning stressed that the awareness and emphasis on strictly adhering to COVD-19 prevention measures is being done out of necessity.
In Tok Pisin, the Controller reiterated that the country’s health system is being overpowered by COVID-19.
Manning said: “Displa sik em winim pinis helt sistem blo yumi, ol hausik blo gavman. Yumi lukim Vanimo hausik, em (pas). Yumi lukim Madang hausik, planti hausik wokmanmeri kisim COVID. Lukim Lae hausik, Goroka, nau POMGen. Disla sik em winim pablik helt sistem pinis. Nau olgeta provins hausik, ol kisim taim tu. Nogat mo wei lo banisim sik, (tasol) lo harim tok na pleim pat blo yupla lo halivim gavman blo yupla, NCC, na helt dipatmen, na banisim yumi yet lo disla sik.
“Yumi mas lainim lesen lo ol narapla bikpla kantri, we ol i gat gutpla helt sistem tasol sik i daunim ol yet,” Manning added.